[U.S.] Women Taking Over Farms, Learning the Lay of the Land

Corrie Maclaggan – The New York Times – November 26, 2013 (originally published 14 Nov)

Two women farmers in Texas, USA
Timber Barkley, left, and her mother, Teresa Barkley, in a field planted with grass for soil conservation on their family farm north of Amarillo. Image: David Bowser/The Texas Tribune

AMARILLO — DeDe Cummins’s family has farmed in the Texas Panhandle for a century, but no one expected her to have any interest in the work.

“I was a girl,” said Ms. Cummins, 53, a high school special education teacher in Canyon, south of Amarillo. “It’s always been a man’s business, always.”

But six years ago, ownership of the land on which her grandfather grew wheat and ran cattle transferred to Ms. Cummins and her two sisters. Now Ms. Cummins, the only sister who did not sell her share, is scrambling to learn about the business of farming.

This fall she took a six-session management workshop for farm women at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Amarillo to broaden her knowledge, going beyond what little she had learned growing up on the farm. The series of classes, called Annie’s Project, teaches women across the country about farm management. . .

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